Early signs of a toxic relationship
by Rebecca Hieronymi
Pop artist Andy Warhol said, “People should fall in love with their eyes closed.” Mr. Warhol is referring to the magic that people feel when they mean something to one another. It sounds ideal and amazing, but what if the person we fall for isn’t who we think they are? That’s why it is important to keep our eyes open and watch out for red flags that could put us in danger. Here are seven early signs you may be in a toxic relationship:
1) Your partner has heavy baggage from their Ex -Timing plays a major role in whether a relationship will make it or break it. If you are constantly consoling your partner as they grieve over their ex, it’s a sign they haven’t fully moved on yet and need more time to mourn and heal. It’s easy to become blind to the fact that your partner isn’t emotionally invested in you when their heart is still elsewhere but if you ignore the issue then you’ll be the one ending up hurt.
2) Your partner lies to you often about nearly everything – If your partner is constantly telling you lies even over small matters, then it’s time to re-evaluate how much you can trust them. Healthy relationships are built on honesty and open communication.
3) Your partner love bombs you – Emotional manipulators use a technique called “love bombing” to get what they want. This technique involves offering you intense attraction and lots of compliments. They may even put you on a pedestal to make you feel reliant on them. This can quickly develop into a codependent relationship in which your partner becomes the sole source that makes you feel good about yourself. This dynamic is toxic for both of you.
4) Your partner monitors you – Checking in with your partner to make sure you are on the same page is important, but if your partner is constantly checking up on you, then they are invading your sense of privacy. Frequent monitoring such as asking to see your texts, phone calls, and e-mails, or constantly asking where you are or what you are doing throughout the day stems from insecurity and a need for control. It is important to have a life outside of your relationship and maintain your individuality.
5) Your partner isolates you – You should never feel like you have to ask for permission before hanging out with friends or family. Abusers often try to isolate their partner from friends and family or stir up drama so their partner is less likely to reach out for help. This only helps them maintain power and control over you.
6) Your partner goes between Hot and Cold on you often – If your partner withdraws from you when you “upset” them but then comes running back to you after you’ve done something to make them happy, this is their way of getting what they want. This hot and cold treatment acts as reinforcement for you to behave by their terms.
7) You always find yourself “starting over” with your partner – Disagreements happen and can be expected in any relationship, but if you have a pattern of starting over with your partner then it is time to examine why. Sometimes we hold on to something much longer then we should out of fear that no one else will love us, but this is how fear ruins your chances of finding real love. Love is always worth it if it means setting yourself free from the wrong people.
Are you experiencing any of these signs? We want you to know that you’re not alone and there are ways to seek help and safety. If you or someone you know has experienced intimate partner violence, Crisis Services of North Alabama can help.
Please contact us locally at 256.574.5826, on our 24/7 HELPline at 256.716.1000, or at our website www.csna.org. Advocates provide free, confidential support to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.